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Charlotte Pence’s Life Lessons From The Vice President

Vice President Mike Pence’s daughter shares memories, insights, and lessons she learned from him. Read Transcript


- Well, ever since shelearned how to talk,

Charlotte Pence has been a storyteller.

Her parents still rememberher sitting in the grass

outside their house and telling a story

to a captive audience ofstuffed animals and dolls.

And now, nearly 20 years later,

she's telling the story of her family

and their road to Washington, D.C.

- [Narrator] Best sellingauthor and daughter

of the vice presidentof the United States,

Charlotte Pence hasn'tlived an ordinary life.

She became part of a political family

while in elementary school and traveled

on the Trump/Pence campaigntrail after graduating college.

In her book, Where You Go,Life Lessons From My Father,

Charlotte explains what it's like

being part of the second family

and the influence that her relationship

with her father has made in her life.

- Well, Charlotte Penceis here with us now,

and we welcome you to the program.

Great to have you here.- Thank you.

Thanks for having me.

- A new book out, Where You Go.

You were seven when you first

imagined all of this withyour animals and your dolls.

Did you ever think thatyour family's journey

would take you where you've gone?

- No, honestly, no, we didn't, and I think

we've just been so blessed tohave such amazing experiences

and to be able to do it together

and to be able to write about it

was really a privilege for me, for sure.

- And writing's been somethingthat you've just enjoyed

and been good at and beenrecognized for, for years.

Your last bestsellerreceived some criticism,

(laughs) and it was about your bunny.

What do you think happened with that?

- Yeah, there was a parodybook put out about it,

but it also gave money to charity,

and my mom and I wrote abook about my real bunny,

who he follows my dadalong in a typical day

with the vice president in the book.

It was just a fun project to do together,

and so we were surprised by the reaction,

but I mean at the end of the day,

both are giving to charityand that's a good thing.

- Today, politics is kind ofa bloodsport, if you will.

Your dad was first elected tocongress when you were seven.

Did he prepare you inany way for what entering

that political arena was gonna be like?

- Yeah, absolutely, oneof the things I talk about

in the book is that my dad,he always used to tell us

when we would see protestorsor when we would see signs

outside our house when hewas getting negative press,

he would always say that'swhat freedom looks like.

He had this saying he always said,

and he still does to this day.

When he sees protestors at events,

he always says that'swhat freedom sounds like,

that's what freedom looks like.

I think that has to do withthe media and just public life,

I think that you haveto be open to criticism

and ready for it.

- And appreciate the freedomthat is there for all of us.

So then your dad was electedgovernor, and he talked to you

at that point and said somethingmeaningful about change.

Share that with us.

- Yeah, the night my dad was elected

to be governor of Indiana,

that was another big timeof transition for us.

The book really, without knowingit when I was writing it,

I was really writing about transition,

which I think and I hope everybodycan learn something from.

Our family's been through a lot

of different transitions together,

and so the night he waselected, we were up watching TV,

and I remember him going tobed, and he just looked at me

and said, "Everything haschanged and nothing has changed."

What he meant by that was wehave this completely new life,

this is going to be upsidedown and totally different,

but at the same time we're a still family,

and our faith and ourfamily is still gonna be

the most important thing to us.

- One of the things in your family

that's always beenimportant is family dinner.

He had some wise counselabout that as well,

right?- Yes, yes.

You work all day, and thenyou go home for dinner.

- Yeah, I actually got hima gift a couple years ago

that just was a plaque thathad this quote from him on it,

that makes its way into the book,

that says, "Do your bestand go home for dinner."

That's kind of how he lived his life

and lived his career in politics.

He was really home fordinner almost every night,

and that was a lot--- That's amazing.

- It was amazing, yeah,and a lot of that reason

was because we lived rightoutside Washington, D.C.

and so he was kind of able to really

be a part of our life growing up.

- Weren't those transitions hard for you?

Because they happenedas you were growing up,

living in this place,living in that place,

seeing the change in your parents' lives,

how did you weather all of that well?

- Yeah, you know, I think that our family

is just such a close unit, Ithink that that really helped.

We kind of call ourselves a circle,

and we say that once you'reon the inside of a circle,

you're never on the outside.

We just kept that circlevery close and very tight

during the campaign trail andjust kept communication up.

- Your book is entitled Where You Go,

and you start out talkingabout a famous quote

from the book of Ruth.- Yes.

- Tell us a little bit aboutwhy that's significant to you.

- There were a couple of different titles

I was kinda playing around with.

One of them was one of the chapter titles,

and so they did make theirway into the book in some way,

but one day it just kind of hit me

that this verse, Ruth 1:16,just sums up my family

and how we live our life.

It's when Ruth's mother-in-lawis telling Naomi,

or Naomi is telling Ruththat she should leave her

after her husband hasdied, and Ruth tells her

I'm not gonna leave you, and she says

"Where you go, I will go, andwhere you say, I will stay.

"Your people will be my peopleand your God will be my God."

I think that's just howour family operates.

We go with one another into the adventures

even when it's hard andeven when it's messy

and there's a lot oftransition to figure out.

- A lot of that difficultyand transition and challenge

has come from your dad's role,

the role that he's beencalled to in his life,

but the really stable person

in that whole venture has been your mom.

Talk about the influenceshe's been in your life.

- Oh, yes, absolutely, my mom is awesome,

and I dedicate a couple of chapters to her

and just what I've learned from her.

When I was actually on the campaign trail

in the summer of 2016, I waskind of her personal assistant.

She didn't have one, and soI was running her schedule

a little bit and helping her out,

and I just got to learn somuch about leadership from her

and how to treat your staff kindly

and how to treat everybody kindly

and to really stand out for people

and encourage them tostand up for themselves.

So yeah, my mom's absolutelyjust a rock in our family.

- You talk about where you go

and the family hanging tightly together.

Where is home for youwith all the transitions

that you've had?

- That's a good question.- Wherever your stuff is, huh?

- Yeah, home is whereour family is together.

Growing up, that was really true,

and even when my dad was governor,

we would spend holidayssometimes in different states,

in different areas, wewere in Israel one year,

which I talk about in the book,

and so we always just realized

that our home was wherewe were with each other.

I think that has to do withbeing physically together,

but it also is just a mental state of mind

and just keeping talking.

- With all that your family means to you,

another question is how do you deal

with the unfair criticismof people you love so much?

- Yeah, it's difficult as a daughter

I think when you see thingsthat are said about somebody

that you love.- Yes, for sure.

- That you don't necessarily,you know aren't true,

and so as an American though,I think it makes me proud,

because, like I said,that we live in a country

where people can speak outagainst their elected leaders,

and that's a good thing,

and that's not trueeverywhere in the world.

- A lot of wisdom, the bookis called Where You Go,

Life Lessons From My Father,written by Charlotte Pence.

I think you'd really enjoy it.

It's available in stores nationwide.

Thank you for being withus, great to have you here.

- Thank you so much.

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